Guantánamo

11 commentsArtists

The inmates dance in agony.

Inventor Thomas Edison famously claimed that success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration. In that same spirit, and for as long as I’ve known her, Farah Shaer has been one very busy bee. I’ve seen here buzzing around everywhere — whether on TV to discuss a film project, in Qatar or Syria for some festival or other, or on the Lebanese American University (LAU) theater scene wearing the hats of writer, director, and producer. (Phew! I feel exhausted just typing this.)

A prison within a prison.

Farah Shaer has a lot to say.

When I first met Farah last year at an improv class with playwright Lucien Bourjeily, she had just shattered her ankle by falling off a theater catwalk. I later learned that it’s typical of her to throw herself into everything she does.

Her work in both film and theater, while still somewhat rough around the edges, is the product of passion and dedication. The girl speaks with such conviction that I find myself nodding in agreement before I can even think. However after being given some time, I find that I do agree anyway.

Her current project is entitled Guantánamo, a minimalist adaptation of the play by Victoria Brittain and Gillian Slovo. Set in the infamous prison of the title, the story is stripped of all ornament and told through a series of monologues by an all-female cast against a black backdrop.

The six inmates scream, cry, and laugh at the struggles of contemporary Arab women not so much with their own tradition, but with a western ideology that claims to shelter them from it. They rage against stigmas which brand them with broad strokes that appear to mean something but are merely hollow propaganda (oops I said a dirty word!) devoid of any relevance to a concrete reality.

While the play is dialogue-heavy, Farah’s abstract staging maintains a visually expressive style, as two lyrical dance pieces bring it to an effective crescendo that’s almost unbearable to watch.

Guantánamo, The Meaning of Silence • A student production

Directed by Farah Shaer • Written by Victoria Brittain & Gillian Slovo Lebanese American University (LAU) Gulbenkian Theater • May 19th at 6 p.m. (one night only)

Photos by Meedo and @Sooly_Kobayashi

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Myra-lana Atoui May 19, 2010 at 8:42 am

“it's typical of her to throw herself into everything she does”
it was a great experience farah :)
-your 'not so bri2ish actress' :)

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Loryne Atoui May 19, 2010 at 9:05 am

I really want to see this! Who's going?

PS: Hi to the other Atoui commenting ;-)

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Hasan Salame May 21, 2010 at 5:40 am

Wawww!!.. I liked Farah’s photo! Wondeful

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Hasan Salame May 21, 2010 at 8:40 am

Wawww!!.. I liked Farah’s photo! Wondeful

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Hasan Salame May 21, 2010 at 5:41 am

by the way, not Farah Shaer, I meant Bitar!

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Hasan Salame May 21, 2010 at 8:41 am

by the way, not Farah Shaer, I meant Bitar!

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nour hassane May 22, 2010 at 10:59 am

shakloun 7a yetla3o souwar bi3a2do..craving to see them all…thx meedo and akid thank you farah habibti..

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Meedo May 22, 2010 at 11:40 am

[Translation: The photos look nice.] Thanks Nour, you guys put on a good performance.

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nour hassane May 22, 2010 at 1:59 pm

shakloun 7a yetla3o souwar bi3a2do..craving to see them all…thx meedo and akid thank you farah habibti..

Reply

Meedo May 22, 2010 at 2:40 pm

[Translation: The photos look nice.] Thanks Nour, you guys put on a good performance.

Reply

Dimitrije November 20, 2015 at 4:50 pm

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